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Wrestlers on a tear

SPRINGVILLE —It’s been nearly a month and a half since the Springville-Griffith Institute wrestling team lost a dual-match. The Griffin Grapplers kept their winning streak intact, with wins over Gow School, East Aurora and Depew. The three wins extended Springville’s winning streak to seven in a row, since falling to Eden on Dec. 20.

“I’m extremely excited,” said Springville coach Gary Feltz whose team finished the regular season with a 7-3 record. “My thought going into the season was that we were going to be competitive. The boys far exceeded my expectations. This really has been a great season for these guys and our program.”

Springville defeated the Gow School 33-30 on Jan 31. Picking up pins for Springville were Jake Smith, at 132, and Bryant Boundy, at 160. Bryce Szudzik won by a 4-2 decision over Gow’s Angel Mena-Messina, at 138. Greg Benstead, at 170; Ian Baker, at 152, and Josh Ball, at 285, all picked up victories via forfeits.

“This win says to me that all of the guys held the rope and did everything they could; they got every point that they could, for the team,” said Feltz. “The kids pulled together and did everything they could to save all the team points possible. They really scratched it out.”

On Feb 3, Springville hosted East Aurora and Depew in a double-header. The Griffs fended off East Aurora for a 37-36 win, to begin the night, and followed that up with a 60-4 rout of Depew.

Smith pinned East Aurora’s Liam O’Brien, at 138, for the night’s first match. Szudzik moved up to the 145 class, to wrestle Dante Lamarti, who outweighed him by 15 pounds, but Szudzik was able to score a 7-1 decision. Boundy pinned East Aurora’s Tim Skowronski, at the 1 minute, 20-second mark of the match.

East Aurora and Springville tied at 33-33, with two matches to go. Zack Swank, at 113, fell to East Aurora’s Max Kilijanski 11-6, but East Aurora only scored 3 points because Swank fended off a pin and kept the match close, not allowing the Blue Devils to score a major decision. East Aurora led 36-33, with one match remaining. Springville’s Anthony Mitchell needed to either pin his opponent or score a major decision for Springville, to pull out the win. Mitchell was able to score a major decision, 13-4 over Allison Fuller, that proved to be the match-winner. Picking up victories via forfeits for Springville included Baker, at 152; Jobe Fleming, at 126, and Daryl Lynch, at 132.

Following the come-from-behind win over East Aurora, Springville defeated Depew 60-4. Smith pinned his opponent, Brandon Williams, at 132, to improve to 24-6 on the year. Fleming pinned Max Jaskier of Depew, at 126. Ball, at 285, and Swank, at 113, both picked up pins. Winning by forfeits was Lynch, at 138; Jerry Weeks, at 152; Szudzik, at 145, and Pat O’Brien, at 220.

On Feb. 1., Springville competed in the Ken-Ton Tournament held in Kenmore, N.Y. The tournament field included 22 area high schools. Ball, at 285, took fourth place and Smith, at 132, took sxith place. Szudzik wrestled at 138 and had a pin over Eden’s Jesse Vondell. Vondell is ranked in Section VI and was a sectional finisher, last season. Smith also beat Vondell, earlier in the season

“That was a huge marker for both Jake and Bryce,” said Feltz. “Vondell is one of the best in the section; he’s ranked. To have two guys on our team that beat him this year is huge. Vondell made a little mistake and Bryce jumped on it real quick. It was a slight movement, but Vondell exposed himself and Bryce took advantage of it and put him on his back.”

Weeks took third place, at the 145, going 3-1 in the junior varsity tournament. Tyler Fedeson, at 126, and DJ Lynch, at 132, both took sixth place on the junior varsity side.

Springville traveled to the Class B Meet on Feb. 8 at Cheektowaga. The top four finishers in every weight class advanced to the sectional meet.


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